From Penny Diebel, Assistant Dean...

Student moving inOur office is here to assist both students and families. We are always excited to meet families when visiting campus at any time during your student’s time at OSU. Once your student has enrolled in the College of Agricultural Sciences we want you to know that we are looking out for them but you will still play a critical role. There are a variety of excellent resources available for parents from both Oregon State University and other sources (see a few links below) that offer advice to parents of college students.  As the parent of a college student, I know that it is sometimes hard to know when and how much support to provide. Below are some suggestions how you can stay engaged.

You are Still Their Parent. You have done a great job parenting and helping your children get to this point in their life, and for that you should be applauded. This is not the time to withdraw from your child’s life but it is a time to take on a less prominent role and empower them to become independent.  At the time your student enters OSU, by law, we are restricted in providing you directly with information regarding their academic record. Your student is your best source of information on how they are doing. But we are happy to speak to families regarding possible resource available on campus.

Encourage Your Student to Seek Support on Campus.  One of the critical skills many students need to develop at college is, knowing when to ask for help. OSU offers support programs for every aspect of your student’s life, from academic advising to physical and spiritual counsel. If you notice your child struggling and it is not an emergency, rather than solve the problem yourself or calling campus resources for them, we suggest you help them find a resource on campus reach out to. In this way you are empowering them to own the situation, while also acting as a safety net.

My suggestion to every student is to have someone on campus who they feel they can go to with any question. That contact may not have all the answers but they can assist the student in getting to the correct resources.  Often that primary contact is their academic advisor. The College of Agricultural Sciences takes great pride in the quality of our student advising. Our advisors not only monitoring student academic progress but also the state of their participation and personal growth as part of the college and university community.

Support Their Interests.  Many students will arrive at OSU unsure of what area of study they want to pursue; while others may arrive set on a certain academic path, only to discover new areas of interest. New interests may not be confined to the classroom but also outside the classroom. As a College we encourage all of our students to explore and seek out experiential learning opportunities.  Experiential learning has many forms but in general it takes the student outside of their comfort zone and allows them to apply their skills in a real world situation. This could include internships, international travel, or research. Students enhance their classroom skills and most importantly learn about themselves. These experiences may also mean an extension to their 4-year plan for graduation.  But if the experience enhances their employability and their personal growth the extra term may be worth it. Again, there are many resources on campus to help students find these opportunities, plan their studies around them, and find financial support to pursue them.



OSU New Student Programs and Family Outreach

Student Life Assistance for Families

OSU Parents and Family

Roger H. Martin. Off to College: A Guide for Parents, University of Chicago Press, 2015.